Rejection is fun
Trying new things can be fun and scary. If you succeed it is a good time but if you fail or worse have strangers reject you without explaining exactly why...that can sting. I experienced it twice today as I finally heard back from two contests I entered around a month ago. Writing is a weird thing and sometimes a story can go past any stipulations you may have initially set. That's fine if you are writing for yourself or something general but some contests are very specific. I even posted a story on here earlier, The Grove, because it went past the word limit of 1500 words.
These two contests fell under flash fiction. Apparently, there is a large group of readers who can't handle more than a few hundred words and every action, emotion, and revelation must take place in a very small amount of words. The good thing is I lost and can now share them. The bad thing is well...I lost and losing sucks. On the bright side, I feel like both helped me be a better writer and I will keep entering these contests. I hope you enjoy them...
The first contest was to tell a horror story in 50 words. The winner was going to be announced on Halloween. They got 4500 entries and took them longer to decide than they expected. Here is my entry...
Cindy lay on her side, hugging her swollen belly. Tears rolled down her face as the doctor droned on about why these things happen. Her husband’s hand rested on her shoulder but offered no comfort. All her focus was on the gnawing sensation inside her as the zombie apocalypse began.
The second one was a little harder. This contest was timed. It also had three criteria that had to be met. The contest provided you with a genre, a specific action, and a word assignment. You would be emailed your information and then had twenty-four hours to get a story back to them. This time I was allowed 250 words. I forgot I signed up and on Oct 4th I received an e-mail with a link to discover what my three things were.
Genre: action/adventure - Specific action: applying a bandage - Word: anonymous.
"Okay I got this," I thought as I hammered out 250 words and sent it in. The nice thing about this contest is the judges give you feedback on what they liked and what they didn't like. From the three judges I had, their main complaint was I didn't provide them with enough information. Since the limit was set by them, I have to shrug it off. I like this little story and might revisit it so I can flesh it out. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
The Wyvern Eye
Jackson glanced over his shoulder, wondering what Jessica was doing in his backpack.
"You're bleeding," she said as she rooted through his bag. She grinned as she pulled out a bandage. "See, I told you we would need this."
He grunted as she wrapped the shallow cut on his arm. He hadn't even noticed the steel bite into his flesh during the last clash with the anonymous guardians of the temple. All the studying they did before heading out to find the Wyvern Eye and nothing hinted about nameless, faceless watchdogs.
"Good as new," she said as she tied off the bandage.
He offered a smile before turning his attention back to the door, the only thing between them and the remaining guardians. He took a deep breath and fished the Eye from his pocket.
"Here," he said, handing her the gem. "Once we open the door, I will engage and you will run to the plane and leave."
Jessica shook her head, "In together, out together." Jackson smiled at their motto. It had gotten them through many an adventure, but not this time.
"Just go, I'll follow if I can, but don't wait longer than a few minutes."
Jackson motioned to the door as he shifted his grip on the sword he picked up somewhere in the tunnels. Jessica swung the door open and Jackson sprang forward. The clang of steel filled the tunnel as Jessica slipped out. Gripping the Wyvern Eye against her chest, she sprinted towards freedom.